Short History of the Cathars
A Pocket Essential
When a Crusade was launched against them early in the 13th century, the Cathars were dominant in the Languedoc region and had won widespread support from nobility and peasants. Martin explains the movement’s development, the fractious political context in which it flourished and the principles of simplicity, equality and non-violence which lay at the heart of the Cathars’ heretical teachings and their implacable opposition to the Catholic Church. Second edition.
A Global History
The pivotal year of the First World War was marked by a series of events with far-reaching repercussions, from the Battle of the Somme and the Easter Rising to the assassination of Rasputin and the election of President Woodrow Wilson. Drawing on military, social and cultural sources, this history goes beyond the Western Front to explore crucial developments in the war at sea, in the intelligence war, and in the Balkans, East Africa and Asia.
Shiels to Shields
The Life Story of a North Tyneside Town
Although North Shields was more advantageously positioned on the Tyne than its upstream neighbour, the 13th-century royal charter granting Newcastle a monopoly over trade held back the settlement's expansion for centuries. This illustrated history identifies the events that shaped the town, describing the local industries of coal mining, shipbuilding and fishing and giving an insight into the working and living conditions of its inhabitants during the period of rapid expansion in the 19th century.
How Leaders and Their Unnecessary Wars Have Wrecked the Modern World
Ranging from Louis XIV’s wars in the 17th century to the recent conflicts in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria and Yemen, this study examines why some rulers resort to excessive force, whether through ambition, bloodlust or bad advice, and its consequences for global stability .
Commander in Chief
FDR's Battle with Churchill, 1943
As battle raged in North Africa and Italy, Churchill and Roosevelt disagreed about how to win the war. Drawing on new research, this history – the second volume in a trilogy on FDR’s wartime leadership – overturns 70 years of received wisdom to reveal a strategic difference between the two men, as the president challenged Churchill’s decision to widen the war in the Mediterranean in favour of an invasion of France the following year.
The Flower of All Cities
The History of London from Earliest Times to the Great Fire
In 1501, when William Dunbar described it as ‘the flower of Cities all’, London was already an ancient capital, a great port and hub of culture and commerce. In 1666, the Great Fire destroyed almost all of the old walled city and environs. Drawing on archaeological, written and pictorial records, Wynn Jones traces London’s history from Ancient Britons, through Roman, Saxon, medieval, Tudor and Stuart times, to the aftermath of the Fire. The book concludes with four walks for rediscovering the pre-1666 city.
On the Seven Deadly Sins
Drawing on his experience in politics, former MP Kenneth Baker examines how the Seven Deadly Sins have been depicted in art and literature through the ages. Using excerpts from plays, poetry and fiction, he discusses the sins, reflects on their continuing presence in today’s more secular society, and concludes that life would be banal and unchallenging without them. The extensive illustrations include works by old masters such as Botticelli and Bosch, press photographs, and cartoons by Gillray, Rowlandson, Bateman, Peter Brookes and Dave Brown.
H-Bombs & Hula Girls
Operation Grapple 1957 and the Last Royal Navy Gunroom at Sea
As part of Operation Grapple, Britain’s H-bomb testing programme, the light fleet carrier HMS Warrior set off from Portsmouth in February 1957 for Christmas Island in the South Pacific. In the Gunroom were ten junior officers (including the author) who weeks later would witness the detonation of Britain’s first thermonuclear device. This month-by-month account of their voyage, which examines the logistics behind the testing, describes their naval duties and celebrates their unfaltering comradeship.
Knight, Martyr, Patron Saint and Dragonslayer
St George is England’s patron saint, yet many other nations, from Hungary to Ethiopia, consider him their own. This compact guide reviews what is known about this early martyr, and traces his battle with the dragon to legendary pre-Christian heroes.
The Fall of the Tay Bridge
In a disaster commemorated by one of William McGonagall’s famously bad poems, engineer Thomas Bouch's Tay Bridge collapsed when a train was passing over it during a storm in 1879, killing everyone on board. This revision of David Swinfen's 1994 study of the event analyses the evidence and technical studies to answer the still-contested questions of why the bridge failed and how many people lost their lives.
'To understand what Jesus accomplished and how he paid with his life, we have to understand what was happening around him.' O'Reilly and Dugard turn from their previous non-fiction 'thrillers' on the assassinations of Lincoln and Kennedy to the events leading up to Jesus' execution. They examine Greek, Roman and Jewish sources to tell the story of this volatile epoch, its cast of characters – from Cleopatra to John the Baptist – and the historical events which made Jesus' death inevitable.
The Crusade of Richard I
The Third Crusade united European leaders in an expedition to reclaim the Holy Land from Saladin. It is particularly well-documented, with contemporary chronicles surviving from both sides of the conflict, some of which were written by men present in the region. First published in 1889, this compilation of translated sources juxtaposes accounts by different authors and illustrates how events such as the siege of Acre were viewed at the time.
A Concise History of the Arabs
From Libya to Syria, the Arab world commands Western headlines even as its politics elude the grasp of readers and commentators. This lucid survey argues that the key to understanding the region lies in its past. The book charts the political, social and intellectual history of the Arab world from the Roman Empire, through the mission of the Prophet Muhammad to the rise of modern Islamism, and concludes with an assessment of the region’s prospects after the Arab Spring.
The History of Christian Europe
Since the late Roman Empire, Christianity has shaped the identity, institutions, art and architecture of Europe and, by extension, a large part of the world. This ambitious and lavishly illustrated survey traces its development from the first Christians, through the East/West schism, the Reformation and the Scientific Revolution to the present, profiling key figures from Bede to Knox, discussing Christianity's relations with Islam, and assessing its prospects in the modern world.
The Strange Death of World War II's Most Audacious General
Having survived a spectacularly bloody campaign across Europe, America's most charismatic general, George Patton, was killed in a road accident near Mannheim, Germany, in December 1945. His brusque manner and outspoken nature had made him many enemies and his unexpected death has since provoked suspicion. This book analyses Patton's activities from October 1944 up to the fatal crash and investigates the circumstances of the accident to establish whether it might have been an assassination.